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Aug 07 2004

Moska: Tudo Novo de Novo

With Sacha Amback, Dunga and Marcos Suzano

 

Tudo Novo de Novo

The musical career of Paulinho Moska is an interesting one to follow. From his first solo album (Vontade; 1993) till now, he went through quite some artistic changes.

Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1967, Paulinho quietly picked up notice of his talent and started to play guitar. While playing rock and blues with friends, the teenager developed his knowledge of the instrument. Pursuing an artistic career, he studied theatre at the Casa das Artes de Laranjeiras in Rio. After a few jobs as an actor, he found his way back to music. The vocal group Garganta Profunda proved to be a good band to gain vocal experience. On the repertoire was a wide variety of music, both popular and classical. This choir split into smaller groups, like the trio Inimigos do Rei, in which Paulinho earned himself a place.  He enjoyed the years on the road with the group; it gave him the chance to discover the various faces of his Brazil. In 1992 the decision was made to start a solo career. For Paulinho those early 1990ies were musically dominated by powerful rock bands like Nirvana, Lenny Kravitz and Pearl Jam. The influences of that preference are clearly noticeable on his debut album, the earlier mentioned Vontade.  For music critics that album is enough reason to qualify Paulinho as a rock artist. That was not what he had in mind though. Paulinho started questioning his life as an artist. He joined a study group on the work of French theorist Gilles Deleuze, and that brought Paulinho in contact with philosophy and other art forms. Translated in music, this meant that his next album was a mixture of pop and MPB with lyrics reflecting his interest in existentialism. A few career steps later, the live album Através do Espelho (1997) added yet another new facet: the bonus track on that cd, the song “Mesmice,” showed the first use of electronics in Paulinho’s music. That approach grew and reached a climax on the album Mobile (1999). While touring to promote the cd, Moska, who stopped using his first name as an artist, democratically honoured the talent of his three accompanying musicians. The band was called Quarteto Móbile/Moska.

MoskaOn this new album, Tudo Novo de Novo the quartet is featured again. And what a quartet that is! They matured in those few years and found the perfect balance, complementing each other’s efforts. Marcos Suzano can be seen as one of Brazil’s most melodic percussionists. He has the rare talent to choose the right percussion instrument to accomplish a natural interaction with the other instruments, whether those are acoustic or electric. Sacha Amback is without any doubt among the most tasteful keyboardists. Besides being a wonderful pianist, he uses electronics in such a way that it never disturbs, but on the contrary adds to the sentiment of a song. His arrangements are always a delight. In the quartet, Dunga has the opportunity to use his rich experience as a bassist. He’s the important “glue” between the different segments, laying bridges and supporting melody lines in the most perfect way. And of course, Paulinho Moska is the fourth member of the quartet, as singer/guitarist.

Most of the songs on the album are written by him. That’s also where the cd got its title from “Everything new again.” The sources of inspiration for the compositions were the pictures that feature the cd’s booklet. A new way to compose music for Moska. He took those photos with his brand new digital camera, focusing on his own reflection in various chromed bathroom objects. Paulinho took some 2,500 of those (soon to be the subject of a book…). These self-portraits are linked to the autobiographic lyrics of the songs. There are quite a few fabulous songs on the cd. The three closing songs are true gems. “Impacto” is an example of the perfect balance between the instruments. The acoustic guitar dominates while simple sound effects set the emotion. The cries from a cuíca accentuate that emotion in a melancholic way. Mart’nália is guest vocalist on “Acordando,” a relaxed samba. Samba might well be featured on Moska’s next album, since it caught his attention as a composer. The album’s closing song is a duet with Jorge Drexler. The composer/singer/guitarist from Uruguay (Montevideo, 1964) makes a wonderful appearance on his own written “Dos Colores: Blanco y Negro.” Another very pleasant track is “Essa é a Última Solidão de Sua Vida,” co-written with Pedro Luís, Mart’nália and Thalma de Freitas. Written by friends, and that’s how it sounds too; the song reflects the personalities of its composers. “O Bilhete no Fim” has a funky upbeat tempo, soft percussion and nice organ. The music of Jorge Drexler is featured again with a portuguese version of “La Edad del Cielo,” a beautiful ballad with a jazzy guitar, played by producer of the album Nilo Romero.

This cd offers the listener well polished and very original pop songs with an unmistakable Brazilian heart. The lyrics are worth a closer look, too. It all makes you wonder how the music of Paulinho Moska evolves on a next album.

 

ALBUM INFORMATION

Moska
Tudo Novo de Novo
Capitol EMI 594905 2 (2004)
Time: 47’25”

Tracks:

All tracks by Moska unless noted.

  1. Tudo Novo de Novo
  2. Lágrimas de Diamantes
  3. O Bilhete No Fim
  4. Cheio de Vazio
  5. O Jardim do Silêncio
  6. A Idade Do Céu (Jorge Drexler; translation: Moska)
  7. Reflexos e Reflexões
  8. Último Adeus
  9. Assim Sem Disfarçar
  10. Pensando Em Você
  11. Essa É a Última Solidão da Sua Vida (Moska – Pedro Luís – Mart’nália – Thalma de Freitas)
  12. Impacto
  13. Acordando  – w/ Mart’nália
  14. Dos Colores: Blanco Y Negro (Jorge Drexler) – w/ Jorge Drexler